STUC on labour market and growth statistics

July 16th 2014

Responding to the latest set of official labour market and GDP data for Scotland, Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary said:

“Today’s figures should force the Scottish and UK Governments to rethink their increasingly complacent views on the state of the Scottish labour market.

“Unemployment has increased again and remains stubbornly high; fully 3 percentage points above its pre-recession level. While it may be technically true to argue that the employment level in Scotland is at a ‘record high’, the employment rate is still well below its peak of 2008. There is no new reliable Scottish wages data but experience across the UK as a whole suggests that Scottish workers are continuing to be hit hard by the ongoing and unprecedented collapse in real wages.

“It is good that Scottish GDP is now above pre-recession levels. However it is complacent and somewhat misleading to crow about record levels of output. The truth of the matter is that the economy may never recover output lost due to the recession and the prolonged period of stagnation that followed. Manufacturing has yet to recover and there are precious few signs of sustainable ‘rebalancing’.

“The recovery may be increasingly embedded but the majority of Scotland’s workers are not feeling the benefits”.

ENDS

For further information contact Kevin Buchanan 0141 337 8100

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